A recent letter in the McCook Daily Gazette said nice things about certain Iraqis that the author knows personally, and then concludes we need to stay the course.

Here is my response:

We dropped the Egg on the Floor

One has to applaud the good will of SSG McConnell (Open Forum Aug 28) toward the Iraqi people, his respect for the Iraqis he personally knows, his pride in his service, and his desire to see America honor its commitments. These are responses most of us would have. Unfortunately, according to the polls, for most of us these responses don’t answer the big questions.

The whole world can see that we’ve dropped a giant egg on the floor. It doesn’t help to just keep dropping more eggs.

Why are we there? President Bush made very clear last week that there is no connection between the attacks of 9/11 and Iraq. Also, it has become obvious that there were no WMD’s there in the months prior to our invasion, and that the key players knew there were not. Yes, Sadaam and his sons were brutes; but the levels of violence across that land have only increased since our invasion. Yes, there are terrorists; but our occupation of Iraq has greatly increased terrorist recruiting and the likelihood of more terrorist strikes. Our presence has not precipitated freedom and democracy for Iraq, but chaos and death.

So why are we there? And what’s the plan?

And now Iraq is cursed with the horrors of a raging civil war. This very thing, a bloody civil war, was predicted repeatedly as a likely result if we invaded – and now we are caught in it. It’s not easy to intervene effectively in other peoples’ civil wars.

I wish we all had honorable feelings toward the Iraqi people like SSG McConnell has. If we loved our neighbors over there as much as we love ourselves – which is the very high standard of the Christian faith – we would feel the frustration and terror of those living amid such instability and violence. We are responsible to ask, for their sakes as well as our own, “WHY?!” and “What is the PLAN?!”

Still we hear only the old mis-leadings – stay the course, we’re bringing freedom and democracy, “Mission Accomplished”, 9/11 and al Qaeda, they had WMD’s, Sadaam’s evil sons, threats from terrorists, good people over there. None of those arguments really answer the questions – Why are we there? What is the plan?

Larry Harvey

[Update: an LTE in response to my response]

Saturday, September 2, 2006
Dear Editor,

I’d like to comment on Mr. Harvey’s latest political rant.

Like most liberal pacifists, and the chairman of the Red Willow County Democratic Party, he claims to support our troops.

He even wants us to believe that he applauds Sgt. McConnell for his beliefs. But unfortunately, he’s more concerned about poll numbers than the safety of America.

Mr. Harvey, Sgt. McConnell is a leader and warrior. People who base their opinion on poll numbers will never understand what Sgt. McConnell’s beliefs are.

K…

McCook